“We have enjoyed Alice from Tooting having purchased it at the Museum of London.”
JAD, Orphington


1995 - 2013
This remains a historic website only. Additional information about Plowright Press on www.ruthsarchive.co.uk

Community history is our concern



Ordinary Lives

Community History


Order Form


Alice from Tooting
by Alice Mullen (1879-1977)

ISBN 9780951696040

208 pp including photos

Edited by Anne Bott

Few working-class women of Alice’s generation wrote their life story. Hers was found in a hard-backed notebook after her death. The book is ‘biography, local history, social history and a lot more’ Journal of Kent History

“Students of local history and people who want a genuine account of an ‘ordinary’ life should find Alice from Tooting an invaluable account.” Wimbledon News

“This is a delightful book, the kind you cannot put down.” Local History Magazine 

“Alice from Tooting is full of fascinating detail about Alice’s successful fight for happiness.” South London Press 

Extracts from Book

·        . . . they decided my mother was too small to have a natural birth. They made the decision to cut the baby up inside the womb and remove it piecemeal.

·        I loved my Sunday School . . . I had very little schooling as being the eldest, there were babies to care for, and mother had to work, so that fell to me and I loved babies. But when I was attending Sunday School I would carry the baby with me rather than miss Sunday School.

·        Mother told us it was no disgrace to be poor but it was to be dirty or ragged. A lady could appear with a patch or a darn but a hole or unmended tear betokened poor housekeeping and low standards. 

·        If any belonging to another parish were ill, they had to be sent back to their own parish, by horse ambulance.

·        It was sad to see even little girls there [the Asylum]. One age 12 had deliberately put her baby sister in the path of an oncoming tram and watched with glee when the baby was run over.

·        In the morning when we woke P [her husband] offered to go down and make a cup of tea, he wanted to do it for me but soon came back to say mother would not let him. Later she scolded me for letting him attempt it, she said my place was to wait on him.

·        A Londoner who was told that delivery to her local bookshop would take 4-6 weeks phoned us because she wanted a copy of Alice from Tooting for a gift sooner. The book was despatched by return and she wrote: “Thank you for sending Alice from Tooting. It is such an interesting book (I borrowed it from the library first) that I decided to buy a copy for a friend of mine. I’m sure she’ll enjoy it as much as I have. Thank you again” JM. Plowright Press usually despatches an order on the day it arrives and always within three working days.


web design leamington spa